Global Renewal’s Blog

An Encounter with Hope

by davidnliney on Feb.04, 2012, under All

As Told by Volunteer: Ashley K. Keating

The first thing that comes to mind now when I think of Global Renewal is a picture of a lighthouse with light shining out throughout the whole countryside. This took on a literal term as I met two beautiful girls who where given situations in life that resembled ashes, ashes in the form of abuse, poverty, and neglect.  Although both of their backgrounds were different they dealt with the ever looming chance of been trafficked.  The beauty in their story comes in when I saw them standing in Selah House playing and radiating a smile that resembled God’s glory.  There they were playing and dancing free from the ashes that they where found in.  This was just the beginning of my understanding of the hope and the future that Global Renewal is bringing through the word of Jesus Christ.

Throughout my time in Cambodia I was able to visit the villages and get to know the people throughout the community.  They opened their homes and hearts desperate to hear of hope and opportunity that could rescue their families from the grip of poverty.  Although the task at hand that Global Renewal has undertaken is not a task for the weak there is a hunger for Gods word and for hope of a better tomorrow which drives the students I met at the training center and at the Selah house to keep going.  Everyday they put on their armor before going out and by watching each one of them you can see the discipline, the desire and the dedication they each have to bring the hope of Jesus Christ to their homeland, Cambodia.  The hope they bring through being a living witness in the actions and their words.

One very telling story to me was an encounter I had in the villages at a karaoke bar where girls were trafficked nightly.  I sat down and begin to interact with a beautiful woman around my age, 28.  She sat their telling me of the story of how she did not finish school and had only a fourth grade education.  This really spoke to me because I am a fourth grade educator.  She began telling me of how her son lived with her mother hours away and how her husband had abandoned her and she now had to work at the bar for money to send to her mother.  Tears began to gush from her soul and despair clinched her face.  I was amazed at what I was witnessing because I had just two years prior been abandoned by my husband during my pregnancy and I was raising my two sons single.  Our lives were very different but yet very similar we understood the despair that follows brokenness.  As we spoke that night for what seemed like hours I began seeing a hunger rise up in her for a new opportunity.  She wanted to leave the bar scene but having the bar owner looming over us trying to listen to our conversation, in fear that one of her “girls” and potential money could be lost,  was an ever present reminder to her

of the current circumstance.  As we said our goodbyes, tears streamed down both our faces for it seemed as through we had known each other for years. Knowledge of her hope to leave the bar and seek a better opportunity spread and she was able to get resources to help her into a new vocation.

Ashley and a GR student

These stories are just a few of the examples of the light that Global Renewal is spreading throughout the communities in Cambodia and where there is light the darkness has to flee.

 


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